> AGS > Rural infrastructure > Rural transport and roads

Rural transport and roads

Rural transport is composed of activities that occur at central and local government, community and household level. At the infrastructure level mobility can be achieved conducted via roads and waterways. In most cases road networks in rural areas are in bad condition, in some cases can only be used seasonally and can be poorly maintained. Mobility in rural areas is pursued via occurs on motorised vehicles, small motor cycles, animal traction driven carts vehicles, human traction, like bicycles and rowing, and on foot. Most of the transport infrastructure used roads are not for motorised use and in fact many 'roads' are simple tracks, trails, paths and footbridges. Most mobility activities occur mainly by foot, less by animal traction and even less by motorization.

Improving mobility is a vital element in allowing access to services to poor rural farmers. Farmers not only need to access markets, but be able to reach markets. Further, market access is only one element of the mobility issue; being able to reach a blacksmith or an input supplier is also important. Enhancing the mobility capacity for rural farmers is important as is the priority of improved efficiency in such mobility, via labour saving technologies.

For further information on rural transport please visit TECA web site.

FAO Diversification booklet - Rural transport and traction enterprises for improved livelihoods

Diversification enterprises are often based on crop, livestock or fish farm production. Yet, successful diversification enterprises can also derive from services related to input supply, production and marketing of farm produce. The booklet focuses on promoting transport and traction services as a viable diversification enterprise for smallholder farmers and others in rural areas. It considers the benefits that can arise from such enterprises, not only to smallholders themselves, but also to local communities in overall terms through increased productivity, improved and faster marketing, better mobility and reduced drudgery. The focus of the booklet is on the issue of the connection (linkages) of land-based farm to main roads, since this is the most critical for smallholder commercial development in the majority of developing countries. This is often referred to as the ‘last mile’.

Transport and traction services can be turned into a viable business enterprise if promoted, planned and accompanied by appropriate training. The booklet is targeted at public and private advisory institutions providing support to rural communities, in particular advisers involved with developing and enhancing revenue-generating rural enterprises for farmers.

To download the booklet please click here ; to order a hard copy please, contact us

Click to download FAO Diversification booklet on Rural transport

How to order publications

If you want to order copies of our publications, write to AGS-Publications@fao.org

Related publications